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by Peter Moskos

September 23, 2008

Willie Bosket

I recently finished reading Fox Butterfield's excellent All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence.

Amazingly researched (Butterfield is a Class-A journalist), this 1996 book follows a culture of violence and its transference over time from white slave owners in the historically f**ked-up county of Edgefield, South Carolina to Willie Bosket and the contemporary ghettos of today. It's not a feel-good story. But it's a great read.

Willie Bosket
was a very bad boy.

The New York Times has a story on him today. He's been in solitary confinement for two decades.


DJK said...

Why pay to keep trash like this alive? He killed people for fun. Why not just put a bullet in his head and be done with him?

Why should the people of this country have to be defenseless against trash like this?

PCM said...

We're not defenseless. That's why he's locked away. Willie Bosket is not a good man. But the book is interesting is that it shows how it's not a surprise he turned out this way.

Anonymous said...

Willie Bosket is a man who was neglected by his mother and raised to beieve that he would never be anything more than a prisonner. Willie was put into the system for the first time at the age of 9. He could never escape the clutches of his social reality. "All Gods Children" was an eye awakening book for myself. I suggest all should read it before making presumptions on Willie Bosket.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I mean one almost has no choice but to grow up as Willie did when nothing good is in his future. If you feel worthless as a child, and feel like you won't amount to anything as an adult, who knows how one will turn out? Also, some of his behaviors could be hereditary, and you have absolutely no control over that!

Anonymous said...

i hate when people talk about willie i mean the man was only human,and coming from where i came i feel the same way he did,like being broke, depressed,not having nothing.i feel his pain.just read his book.you'll see

PCM said...

But do you kill strangers on the subway?

PshootR said...

Herman Cain and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas also came from a tradition of Southern slavery and discrimination, so how come they are where they are today?

PCM said...

Affirmative action...

Just kidding. Sort of. At least for Cain.

Probably because they had better parents. Probably because they were lucky.

Some make it. Some don't. Coming from a messed up background doesn't determine your destiny, but it means it's more likely you won't make it.

Put it this way, if environment doesn't matter, why don't you take your family and move to the worst ghetto in America. Your kids would have the same parents. And rent would be cheaper, right?

But of course you wouldn't live there by choice. Because the environment makes it harder to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Republican scum-

We couldnt all have posh childhoods like you did. One's social environment makes the person.

And Herman cain probobly had one or two positive role models in his youth, whereas Willie Bosket had none.